Jump to content


  • Content count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

About Benzine

  • Rank
    Socratic Potter

Profile Information

  • Gender
  • Location
    The Hawkeye State
  • Interests
    The Arts (Drawing, Painting, Ceramics, Graphic Design), Running, Music (Mostly Rock), Movies, Technology
  1. There is usually mold on the fresh bags of clay, when I open them up. It grosses my students out, but I simply explain to them, that their hands are probably dirtier, than the clay... The mold on the clay is either white or black. Usually, if it shows up on the wares/ projects, it's only if they sit awhile. The ware boards are worse, since they don't always have a chance to dry out, as they are constantly being used. On those, it's usually a blackish mold. No matter the case, I never worry about it. On the projects, the kiln will take care of the mold, and on the boards, a little soap and water is adequate. The biggest issue is the bacteria that likes to eat the binder in the underglazes. As the saying goes, the smell of those could knock a buzzard off a manure wagon...
  2. After reading the topic post, your work is the first thing I thought to link to Pres. I remember seeing several "squared" jars on your blog.
  3. I've been throwing for fifteen years or so, and I will still leave a bit too much at the base occasionally (Especially with newer forms). Some of it is just getting a feel for what a thick base feels like, and what a thinner base feels like. I also drag my thumb along the base, to create a groove, before beginning some of my pulls. It gives your fingers a path to follow, and has helped me pull more clay, than just a normal pull.
  4. I find, that my students are confused by the concept of Balance. They usually simplify it as "Symmetrical= The same on both sides" and "Asymmetrical= Different on each side". It doesn't seem to occur to them that just because Asymmetrical isn't the same on both sides means it lacks "Balance".
  5. Ian Currie Test Tiles Forums?

    I find it interesting that reduction causes iron to flux. Why is this?
  6. I really do like the effects that a spray applied layer creates, over top of a glaze. My Dad made a couple really nice pieces, in College, using this method. One is a "Bird Bath" form, with a nice gradient created by the spray. Unfortunately some of his dang kids cracked the ware, when they were younger...
  7. Yeah, I can't comment on that, as I've never tried to sharpen them. The clay body I use, goes pretty easy on the "blade", so sharpness hasn't proven to be an issue yet. I've been watching a lot of "Forged in Fire" lately, so when I do go to sharpen, I'll go all out and heat the blade, then quench it... I'm joking... Or am I...
  8. My Mudtools "Do All Trim Tool". After using loops to trim for years, just love the versatility of the Do All. It's comfortable to use, and it's all I use to trim now... Unless I'm in my classroom, and have to use the loops, because that's all we have there...
  9. repairing grenware?

    So I took one of my demo wheel projects, one that I cut in half with the wire, to show consistent thickness, and used a combination of Magic Water and my saturated slip, to put the two halves back together. The seam is still visible, but that is mostly due to me not worrying about aesthetics as much as performance. After firing, no cracks were visible in the mend, and it held up to the stress of me trying to pull the two halves apart. Is it as strong as the rest of the piece? That I can't say, but it is a pretty good mend! A real test will be with my Art Club's Raku projects. I made a super saturated Raku slip and used the same process to fix some of the breaks on their projects. They came through the Bisque just fine, but we will see how they do with the thermal shock of the actual Raku firing.
  10. I have a friend, who used to live in Northern Maine. We would always joke that his phone and internet signals, were bounced off of moose antlers. So if the signal was poor, one of the moose was out of place...
  11. Ian Currie Test Tiles Forums?

    Awesome color. It reminds me of the results/ effects I get with some of my Raku glazes, which is one reason I like it. Is that for functional wares? If it doesn't have an official name, you need to give it one. Based on my experience with the commercial glazes, the names don't always have to make sense. There was color I ordered called "Tabacco Brown", but it was an off white, with small flecks of brown. So it looked more like tabacco spit brown...
  12. Rubber/Silicone Ribs

    Like Neil, I still use a wood rib, to compress the bottoms of my forms. I also use a green "Mud Tools" rib, as well as a metal rib for forming. I have honestly never tried using a rib during my pulls. I may need to give it a go sometime.
  13. Ian Currie Test Tiles Forums?

    That tile in the first photo is awesome! What "color" is that?
  14. In order to wrap around, you will have to have wedges cut out, from the top and bottom, to allow for those sections to come together without bunching. Think of the "exploded" version of the Globe: In regards to carving, I was going to recommend an X-ACTO, as I've had success with them. But if that doesn't working, what about a small paring knife? They make specially designed clay cutting/ carving tools for such detailed work, but no sense in buying something if you don't plan on using it regularly.
  15. repairing grenware?

    I'm actually trying new mending methods, as it not only comes up with my High School students, but the Middle School teacher, usually borrows some of my mending slips. So I'm trying to build a better mousetrap, so to speak. The Spooze has been my go to for years. It does a great job. It holds well, sets fast, and can be used right before firing. I just find that the join isn't quite as strong as the surrounding areas. Using Magic Water in conjunction with the Spooze seems to help a bit. But lately I've been using a "Super Saturated" Slip. Just a deflocculated slip, with more clay powder added in. I like it, because, when applied to bone dry clay, it grabs and holds almost instantly. I also use this in conjunction with Magic Water. I am still determining, if the join is any stronger than other methods I've used. Of any of the methods, for fixing wares, I've found the best method, is what I usually tell students, when they bring the damaged project up to me: Me: "What happened?" Student: "I broke my project." Me: "Yeah, I wouldn't have done that, if I were you..."